On the second day of in-person classes, Cherokee County schools officials said Tuesday that an elementary school class will have to quarantine because a student tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
School system spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby told the Tribune that a second grader at Sixes Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19. The classroom that student was in was closed and is being disinfected. The teacher and 20 other students will now switch to digital learning for two weeks. All parents of Sixes students were notified in writing by Princial Ashley Kennerly.
“This is the first COVID-19 positive case reported among our students and staff since we reopened schools on Monday morning,” Jacoby said. “Contact tracing was conducted, and all affected students’ parents have been notified.”
The student showed no symptoms at school Monday, Jacoby said. When the student began to show symptoms after school, the family sought medical attention and a test was given showing a positive result for COVID-19.
Cherokee County’s coronavirus protocol allows for quarantines and closures that range in size from individual classrooms to the entire school system. Last March the entire system switched to distance learning for the remainder of the school year.
More than 30,000 students returned the system’s campuses for the start of the 2020-21 school year on Monday. Families were given the option of online learning for their children given the ongoing pandemic and about a quarter of students are enrolled in remote learning.
According to the school system nine employees have tested positive for coronavirus infection, while the second grader at Sixes Elementary is the first student case.
As of Tuesday afternoon, there had been 2,976 coronavirus infections in Cherokee County, including 733 recorded in the past two weeks. A total of 57 deaths in Cherokee County have been attributed to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Statewide COVID-19 has caused or contributed to nearly 4,000 deaths and more than 150,000 nationwide.